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SOM’s Exchange House Wins Big

SOM’s Exchange House Wins Big

Year after year in the early 1990s, SOM’s Exchange House in London won award after award for its design and engineering. Now it’s topped them all – with the prestigious AIA National 25 Year Award. For good reason. It’s something of an engineering marvel – a ten-story building with arches seven stories tall. Four of [...]

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The Art of the Handcrafted Ukulele

The Art of the Handcrafted Ukulele

They call it “Twitch.” It’s named for a beloved cat left behind long ago in Richmond, Va., before a seminal move to the West Coast. It’s an intricately constructed, handmade ukulele, painted exquisitely in a style that defies definition. Years in the making, it’s only the third in a series that the Oregon-based team of [...]

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Setting 2015′s Architectural Barometer

Setting 2015′s Architectural Barometer

First there were the New York Five in the early 1970s. Then came the Chicago Seven, not long afterwards. Then in the early 1980s, Steven Holl’s Pamphlet Architecture. More recently, there were 2008′s Matters of Sensation. Now comes the Jimenez Lai and his Treatise: Why Write Alone, an exhibition and book project sponsored by the Graham [...]

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In NYC, 551W21 by Foster + Partners

In NYC, 551W21 by Foster + Partners

The new 551W21, in New York’s West Chelsea neighborhood, is designed by Foster + Partners. The building has recently topped off and is more than 60 percent sold. We recently interviewed Erin Boisson Aries, director of marketing and sales, about the building: The intent of design? As is the case with much of Foster + Partners’ work, the [...]

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Defining a Memorial for September 11

Defining a Memorial for September 11

It had to be one of the weightiest assignments of the new millennium: One week after the disastrous events of Sept. 11, 2001, the Port Authority of New York requested that architect Mark Wagner, an associate partner at Davis Brody Bond, scour the World Trade Center site for artifacts. “They asked me to select objects [...]

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Hemingway’s Paris in Words + Images

Hemingway’s Paris in Words + Images

Robert Wheeler picked up his first book by Ernest Hemingway in 1986. It was the posthumously published The Garden of Eden, and on its first page the author vividly described a young couple madly in love. He used color, movement and a foreign language to bring life to his composition. “I thought: ‘I do not [...]

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Art, Life, Literature, and Philosophy

Art, Life, Literature, and Philosophy

It was a classic left-brain, right-brain conflict: Enrique Martinez Celaya struggled as a graduate student at U.C. Berkeley – between a future in physics or art. Art won out. That’s because at an early age, as a refugee from Castro’s Cuba, he’d apprenticed to a painter in Spain. “I had little interest in the art [...]

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At NCMA, a Gift of 20th Century Art

At NCMA, a Gift of 20th Century Art

Generous would be an understatement. A North Carolina couple, whose refined eye for art resulted in an exquisite collection of late 20th-century masterpieces, has donated 100 works to the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA). “It’s an amazing gift – a huge, really important collection,” says Linda Dougherty, chief curator at the museum. Indeed. Among [...]

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In Chapel Hill, the Micropolis Is Born

In Chapel Hill, the Micropolis Is Born

Small is better, it seems – at least in Chapel Hill, N.C. Hitching her wagon to a national trend toward tiny homes, an architect there recently unveiled her designs for the Micropolis. It ranges in size from 150 to 1,500 square feet. It’s flexible enough to offer just one bedroom, or as many as three. [...]

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Mosaics Clued in by M. C. Escher’s Art

Mosaics Clued in by M. C. Escher’s Art

“I don’t grow up,” artist M. C. Escher once said. “In me is the small child of my early days.” Artist Sara Baldwin of New Ravenna Mosaics knows all about that – and as much about Escher. “If you’re interested in geometry and art, one of the rites of passage is to peruse all the [...]

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